Four Habits of Highly-Successful Accounting Firms
At Liscio, we speak with thousands of accountants, bookkeepers and tax professionals each year and we’ve noticed there is a set of common habits that correlate with happy, successful, and thriving firms. These highly successful accounting firms are outperforming their peers by up to 40%, they are attracting and retaining staff, and their client lists are growing. How are they doing this?
The good news is that firms of any size can make a few simple changes to really swing the dial. The highly successful firms we work with understand that when they make it drop-dead easy for clients to work securely with their firm, that everything good flows from that. Clients are happy, staff are happy, and work gets done more securely and efficiently than anyone would have ever imagined.
Here are the habits that these highly successful firms have adopted:
Habit #1 – They Do NOT Use Email to Communicate with Clients
Email has been widely accepted as the “de facto” way to communicate in business, but the fact that so many clients seem to ignore email or have to be repeatedly reminded to respond has led to top-performing firms finding a more effective and secure way to communicate with clients.
Instead of using email, these firms use a customized app that meets the firm’s need for security, organization, staff visibility, and speed, and their clients’ need for ease of use and convenience on the go.
Habit #2 – They Are In Their Clients’ Pockets – 100% of the time
These firms give their clients a secure “accountant app” and are literally “in their clients’ pocket” all day. The secure app allows the client to see and address any tasks the firm has set for them, to quickly scan and send any documents needed, and to self-serve documents that have been prepared by the firm. Clients love it because it’s as easy to use as their banking apps – but with many more features, and their accounting firm on the other end of it!
Habit #3 – They Have a “No Data Silos” Policy
Top firms recognize that staff need to work together and that full visibility is needed at all times. They choose systems designed to keep staff in the loop about the clients they work on together, and ensure that data silos do not slow the team down. They use a system that aggregates all client-facing communications, documents, messages, and staff responses in one central secure place. No more searching in multiple places and no data silos. Nothing drops through the cracks and the team can move quickly as a result.
Habit #4 – Front Office and Back Office are Separate Systems
These firms do not ask their clients to use technology that was designed with the firm in mind, like a portal or practice management system. Instead, their client-facing system is a dedicated accountant app, while the firm uses their preferred high-powered and efficient expert tools to get the work done. By keeping the two separate, each “side” of the house can use best-of-breed technology designed with their specific needs in mind. And the best part is, the front-of-house and back-of-house systems can talk to each other for added efficiency and flow.
Client Experience 2.0 means that every touchpoint with your firm is easy and seamless for clients on the go.
In a nutshell, these firms have embraced the Client Experience 2.0 model and are reaping the rewards! They no longer have to chase clients for documents, they have broken down data silos, and they can move faster than they ever imagined.
To take a deeper look at your firm’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of Client Experience so you can decide the next best steps for your firm, take this short quiz.